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Le Pen, Jean-Marie

Summary Article: Le Pen, Jean-Marie from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide
French extreme-rightwing politician, founder of the National Front (FN) in 1972. His skill as a public speaker, his demagogic mixing of nationalism with law-and-order populism – calling for immigrant repatriation, stricter nationality laws, and the restoration of capital punishment – and his hostility to the European Union attracted a wide swathe of electoral support in the 1980s and 1990s. Although he progressed to the run-off round in the 2002 presidential election, he was heavily defeated by Jacques Chirac, and in the first round of the 2007 presidential election he was eliminated in fourth place. The FN, under Le Pen, won 14% of the national vote in the 1986 National Assembly elections and 15% in 1997. Le Pen's 1988 and 1995 presidential bids attracted similar support on the first ballot, concentrated particularly amongst the unemployed, small-business owners, and young white males. In the 2002 presidential election he finished second, with 18%,...    Continue Reading

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